Kolkata Police Van: The burning of a police vehicle has become a central point of protests against the BJP in Kolkata, which turned violent yesterday, with videos showing how it was vandalized, its windshield and window panes smashed, and a man setting the fire on fire was burning close by.
Kolkata Police Van: Youth Congress national chief BS Srinivas tweeted a close-up video, which shows a man in a saffron T-shirt using a cigarette lighter to set fire to a towel kept in a police van. “Just identify, which party’s ‘nationalist rioters’ are burning police jeeps in West Bengal?” He wrote in Hindi.
He tweeted another video, which shows men waving BJP flags and vandalizing a police vehicle. In the caption, he took a jibe at PM Narendra Modi’s previous statements: “I am sure the Prime Minister will recognize these rioters by their clothes and flags, and in his heart, will never be able to forgive them.”
The BJP denied setting fire to its workers. Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said, “The police can do it themselves,” adding that our workers were not carrying any weapons. The Trinamool Congress jihadis may have come and carried out the violence. The party has claimed that the violence started at the instigation of the police.
Kolkata Police Van: Mr Adhikari was one of the leaders who were detained after violence broke out near Howrah railway station yesterday when police tried to stop the BJP’s protest march against alleged corruption by Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool government.
The BJP had arranged special trains apart from buses and boats for supporters to reach Howrah, from where there was to be a march to ‘Nabanna Abhijan’ – Nabanna or the state secretariat. But the police had put up barricades, which were vandalized by the BJP, leading to a clash with the police. The protesters pelted stones while the police used water cannons and tear gas. Traffic was also suspended on the iconic Howrah Bridge. BJP leaders were detained in Hastings area and clashes broke out between party workers and police outside Raniganj railway station.
Later the Calcutta High Court sought a report from the state home secretary by September 19.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy said the police showed “exemplary restraint” even when “BJP workers were provoking the police to fire”. He also hit back at the BJP’s allegation that Mamata Banerjee runs a “dictatorship”.
Ms Banerjee’s aide-turned-main rival Suvendu Adhikari accused her of running a dictatorship “like North Korea”.
When protests were on, and videos of violence were going viral, Trinamool’s Saugata Roy said, “Where did Mamata Banerjee show dictatorship? The program (BJP’s rally) has been on since noon. The police have not fired at anyone “.
“BJP workers have randomly thrown stones and bricks. They have injured several policemen, including IPS officers. They have vandalized cars in Burabazar area. Very few BJP people have been injured. On every TV screen you can see BJP workers throwing stones,” he said.